Scotsmen in kilts doing yoga might sound like a hilariously off the wall idea, but once you actually see it in action, there is something oddly wonderful and calming about the sight.
Finaly Thomas Wilson and Tristan Cameron-Harper are the minds behind Kilted Yogis, a yoga sensation that is quickly amassing a huge internet following and even being featured on BBC. We caught up with Tristan to learn more about Kilted Yogis and where it all began.
OneUpped: So obviously whether kilted or in yoga gear, you know what you’re doing. Where did your interest and experience in yoga come from?
It really comes from my earlier years playing ice hockey before turning professional. Ice hockey is a very physical contact sport with an intense schedule which means hockey becomes your whole life in a way. It is extremely demanding on the body and you are constantly putting it under pressure with the downside being injuries and having to overcome those injuries to get back in the game. Pulled ligaments, torn muscles, things like that. You really need to be prepared physically and mentally. During our team workouts we would occasionally have team yoga sessions which were great for the healing benefits on the body and help with posture and things of that nature, plus my rehab time for an injury would be shorter with yoga practice. I started focusing on yoga more in the last couple of years attending classes wherever l was in the world learning from different teachers, and expressing myself through movement, creating a clearer head space to get a balance, and understanding my bodies dynamics in a deeper way. Overall, just trying to fine tune things the best way l could, creating that perfect home or temple as l like to call it, for my soul to thrive in. I became hooked to the benefits of yoga, what comes with certain practices, and how the body/mind reacts. Using it in ways of positively connecting with different elements of myself, then using these movements in nature connecting with my natural surroundings.
OU: How did you end up coming up with the idea of Kilted Yogis?
I didn’t come up with the idea alone, Finlay – My friend and certified yoga instructor – and myself bashed some ideas between one another. I love the outdoors, and l always wanted to do something outdoorsy expressing myself as did Finlay. We are both Scottish, l love to wear kilts and I know my way around the best spots outdoors in Scotland, then it clicked. Finlay suggested the idea of us doing Yoga in a beautiful place with the end scene of our kilts dropping, as everyone always jokes wondering what is really under a Scotsmans kilt. Which we did after a day of shooting in the Hermitage, Scotland. The video was a random idea which we thought would be fun, and we had zero idea how much it was going to take off.
OU: That’s so cool! So once it took off and you reevaluated things, what became your overall vision and goal for this project?
We wanted to showcase one of the many beautiful parts of Scotland and just do yoga, expressing ourselves immersed in our gorgeous magical landscape. We just wanted to make people smile, laugh, spread positivity, and showcase the rare beauty hidden within Scotland. We are both health conscious and this was one of our main goals alongside showcasing the benefits outdoors, by sharing with the world that its good to take care of your body, and men can do yoga whilst indulging in nature, and of course its great embracing your roots and wearing a kilt, plus answer that question of what Scotsmen wear underneath there kilts!
OU: How have things changed since the Kilted Yogis went viral?
It has been very crazy, but all very exciting. We have made appearances on various TV channels, appeared in newspapers and some big magazines around the world, met some really awesome interesting people from all walks of life, including the odd celebrity here and there. I never thought that our video was going to get so much feedback, but l’m thankful it did, it has opened alot of doors for myself and Finlay.
OU: You’ve mentioned that things really took off, and it’s obvious once you see what a huge following you have developed. What’s next?
My soul purpose is to inspire, motivate and encourage people around the world to take time to do things that are beneficial to them, whilst embracing who they are, and whilst continuing to grow and become the best person l can be inside and out too, showing who l really am and what l can and will do, I want people to see that if l can do it, so can they. People need to understand that we all have routines and stresses, but life shouldn’t always be taken so serious, it’s short and we must embrace everything about it, focusing on our future and being the best we can be and live the best life we can working with what we have got, in all situations.
And in terms of personally, what do you feel is next for you?
My goals before creating the video have not changed, l left professional ice hockey to follow my intuition and passion of becoming a mountaineer, and working towards joining the Mountain Rescue, alongside focusing on my blog creating awesome content for brands and showcasing amazing places, especially in Scotland. There are some good things coming up there. I recently have been doing some work for Ford Cars, showcasing my outdoors lifestyle while incorporating their cars and building North Blog and I will hopefully be doing some TV work creating more content for the BBC soon. Outside of that, traveling, collaborating with like minded people around the world, all whilst still keeping up with my yoga and meditation which helps keep me focused with everything I am juggling. Really embracing life to the fullest, keeping learning, feeling and seeing what our beautiful world has to offer. “Always buzzing like a bee.”